The first to help you up are the ones who know what it's like to fall down.
-from The First Gift
"Holiness consists simply in doing God's will, and being just what God wants us to be." — St. Therese of Lisieux
MEDITATION OF THE DAY
"Through the sacraments of Christian initiation, man receives the new life of Christ. Now we carry this life 'in earthen vessels', and it remains 'hidden with Christ in God'. We are still in our 'earthly tent', subject to suffering, illness, and death. This new life as a child of God can be weakened and even lost by sin. The Lord Jesus Christ, physician of our souls and bodies, who forgave the sins of the paralytic and restored him to bodily health, has willed that his Church continue, in the power of the Holy Spirit, his work of healing and salvation, even among her own members. This is the purpose of the two sacraments of healing: the sacrament of Penance and the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick." — (CCC, 1420-21) AN EXCERPT FROM Catholic Catechism
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Sts. Cosmas and Damian
Feast: September 26
Information: Feast Day: September 26 Born: 3rd century AD, Arabia Died: 287 AD, Aegea, Roman province of Syria Major Shrine: Convent of the Poor Clares in Madrid, Basilica of Saints Cosmas and Damian in Bitonto, Bari, Italy
Patron of: surgeons, physicians, dentists, protectors of children, barbers, pharmacists, veterinarians, orphanages, day-care centers, confectioners, children in house, against hernia, against the plague.
Early Christian physicians and martyrs whose feast is celebrated on 27 September. They were twins, born in Arabia, and practised the art of healing in the seaport Ægea, now Ayash (Ajass), on the Gulf of Iskanderun in Cilicia, Asia Minor, and attained a great reputation. They accepted no pay for their services and were, therefore, called anargyroi, "the silverless". In this way they brought many to the Catholic Faith. When the Diocletian persecution began, the Prefect Lysias had Cosmas and Damian arrested, and ordered them to recant. They remained constant under torture, in a miraculous manner suffered no injury from water, fire, air, nor on the cross, and were finally beheaded with the sword. Their three brothers, Anthimus, Leontius, and Euprepius died as martyrs with them. The execution took place 27 September, probably in the year 287. At a later date a number of fables grew up about them, connected in part with their relics. The remains of the martyrs were buried in the city of Cyrus in Syria; the Emperor Justinian I (527-565) sumptuously restored the city in their honour. Having been cured of a dangerous illness by the intercession of Cosmas and Damian, Justinian, in gratitude for their aid, rebuilt and adorned their church at Constantinople, and it became a celebrated place of pilgrimage. At Rome Pope Felix IV (526-530) erected a church in their honour, the mosaics of which are still among the most valuable art remains of the city. The Greek Church celebrates the feast of Saints Cosmas and Damian on 1 July, 17 October, and 1 November, and venerates three pairs of saints of the same name and profession. Cosmas and Damian are regarded as the patrons of physicians and surgeons and are sometimes represented with medical emblems. They are invoked in the Canon of the Mass and in the Litany of the Saints.
One day, when the angels of God came to present themselves before the LORD, Satan also came among them. And the LORD said to Satan, "Whence do you come?" Then Satan answered the LORD and said, "From roaming the earth and patrolling it." And the LORD said to Satan, "Have you noticed my servant Job, and that there is no one on earth like him, blameless and upright, fearing God and avoiding evil?" But Satan answered the LORD and said, "Is it for nothing that Job is God-fearing? Have you not surrounded him and his family and all that he has with your protection? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his livestock are spread over the land. But now put forth your hand and touch anything that he has, and surely he will blaspheme you to your face." And the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand upon his person." So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.
And so one day, while his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in the house of their eldest brother, a messenger came to Job and said, "The oxen were ploughing and the asses grazing beside them, and the Sabeans carried them off in a raid. They put the herdsmen to the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you." While he was yet speaking, another came and said, "Lightning has fallen from heaven and struck the sheep and their shepherds and consumed them; and I alone have escaped to tell you." While he was yet speaking, another messenger came and said, "The Chaldeans formed three columns, seized the camels, carried them off, and put those tending them to the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you." While he was yet speaking, another came and said, "Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in the house of their eldest brother, when suddenly a great wind came across the desert and smote the four corners of the house. It fell upon the young people and they are dead; and I alone have escaped to tell you." Then Job began to tear his cloak and cut off his hair. He cast himself prostrate upon the ground, and said,
"Naked I came forth from my mother's womb, and naked shall I go back again. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD!"
In all this Job did not sin, nor did he say anything disrespectful of God.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 17:1bcd, 2-3, 6-7 R. (6) Incline your ear to me and hear my word. Hear, O LORD, a just suit; attend to my outcry; hearken to my prayer from lips without deceit.
R. Incline your ear to me and hear my word. From you let my judgment come; your eyes behold what is right. Though you test my heart, searching it in the night, though you try me with fire, you shall find no malice in me.
R. Incline your ear to me and hear my word. I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; incline your ear to me; hear my word. Show your wondrous mercies, O savior of those who flee from their foes to refuge at your right hand.
R. Incline your ear to me and hear my word.
Alleluia Mk 10:45 R. Alleluia, alleluia. The Son of Man came to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 9:46-50
An argument arose among the disciples about which of them was the greatest. Jesus realized the intention of their hearts and took a child and placed it by his side and said to them, "Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. For the one who is least among all of you is the one who is the greatest."
Then John said in reply, "Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow in our company." Jesus said to him, "Do not prevent him, for whoever is not against you is for you."
Some thoughts on today's scripture
▪ This is a strange argument to have just after the Lord had told His followers that he was going to be betrayed. It shows that his disciples had not grasped his teaching a fact that would made perfectly clear at the time of his passion.
▪ Has there been times when you when you found yourself entertaining thoughts that were completely contrary to the message of Jesus? How did you cope? Ask the Lord to help you see where this happens and to give you the power to reject such thoughts.
Conversation requires talking and listening.
As I talk to Jesus may I also learn to be still and listen. I picture the gentleness in His eyes and the smile full of love as he gazes on me. I can be totally honest with Jesus as I tell Him of my worries and my cares. I will open up my heart to Him as I tell Him of my fears and my doubts. I will ask Him to help me to place myself fully in His care, to abandon myself to Him, knowing that He always wants what is best for me. .
I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.
wau.org Catholic Meditations Meditation: Luke 9:46-50
Saints Cosmas and Damian, Martyrs (Optional Memorial)
Whoever receives this child in my name receives me. (Luke 9:48)
What's in a name? A lot? Or not very much at all? After reading today's Gospel, you might say, "Both." Because if your name is Jesus, that's really something! But it's "something" for you only to the degree that you are connected to him and to the grace that his name carries.
Jesus' disciples were still playing the "name game," squabbling over who would become the most famous apostle. So Jesus brought a small child to himself—a child whose name we never hear. You can imagine him situating the young person right by his side, with his hands on the little one's shoulders. Then, when you hear him say, "Whoever receives this child in my name receives me," you realize that Jesus has connected himself with this child in a special way (Luke 9:48). That's one lucky kid!
That child is you! In fact, Jesus has joined himself with you in an even deeper way than the little one in today's Gospel. Through the Spirit, he dwells in your heart. Think about that: the Lord of heaven happily makes his home in you. He delights in giving you a special place in God's family and conferring his own name upon you. You could even insert your own name into this phrase and hear Jesus say, Whoever receives ___________ receives me, for I have joined myself to them and will never leave them.
It makes no difference if your name is never printed in newspapers or in the Bible, for that matter. When you turn to Jesus and call on his name, no matter the circumstance, you are reaffirming your permanent connection with him. And as you do, grace will flow into you through your bond with him.
So call on Jesus' name in the middle of the storm, and you will receive his peace. Are you uncertain about a decision? You have access to the wisdom of Christ to guide you. Are you lonely or weary? Jesus walks alongside you, encouraging you and giving you his strength. You bear the name of Christ—and nothing can overcome that name!
"Jesus, 'I call upon you, for you will answer me' (Psalm 17:6). Thank you for joining yourself to me and standing beside me in every situation."
We heard today in the Holy Scripture ""Naked I came forth from my mother's womb, and naked shall I go back again. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD!" If we are a vapor in the wind, a drop in the ocean, if we are a flower in the field, then, there is much to be said about our life. In comes the child from the womb.
We prayed today " Incline your ear to me and hear my word". Why is it that we love the Lord to hear our cries, but we do not stop crying to hear His Word...His commands?
In the Holy Gospel, we hear our Lord "Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. For the one who is least among all of you is the one who is the greatest." I noticed over the weekend at the house with the kids, I was pretty bossy with the kids, "give me that" and "go do this" and "make the baby a bottle". In a flash, the kids would do it. As the kids grow older in age, they seem to grow more sluggish in their response, and they backtalk more as they approach teenager years. And when they reach young adult age? How much slower will the response the their father's command be?
If you live a life of grace, the response will be as quick as a child, as loving as a child's, as light and loving as a child's. My 2 year old was fighting with my 4 years old when I said "put my drink on the table" and they were fighting to do what i wanted done..."no I want to do it!" It was cute, and it should be like this among me and you, to serve one another the most, because the child in the story is the child of God, serving...Himself. He says "I will do it" when no one else would. This is a response of grace. The responsible with the grace of God. It is a matter of who can love more, who can serve with their whole heart, who wants to give their life to the Lord. And He teaches us an important fact, that "whoever is not against you is for you". As a child we don't believe the world is against us, and as you grow to be an adult, you believe the world is against you. How soon we forget our cursillo motto "Christ and I are an overwhelming majority".
From the womb we are born, and we return...without nothing...except having shined the light of Christ for the plant to grow and the sheep to be fed, and the sheep to be slaughtered, and the world to be nourished by Him who provides the first.... I SURRENDER TO YOU OH LORD